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Protein denaturation

1. Where on the Periodic Table do elements that denature albumin seem to occur?

2. Which additional metal ions would you expect to cause denaturation of proteins? WHY?

3. If the pH of fresh milk is 7 and the pH of whey is 5 and the pH of water acidified with lactic acid is 2, why is there a difference between the pH of the acidified milk (whey) and that of the acidified water (50 mL demineralized water with 10 drops of 88% lactic acid)?

4. If you added 5 drops of the following metal ions (sodium, calcium, lead, & mercury) to 2-3 mL of 1% egg albumin, what would you expect to see as far as changes in precipitation, color, denaturation of proteins?

5. What about if you heated 2-3 mL of 1% egg albumin in 125 mL of hot water for 5-10 minutes? What changes would you expect to see and why?

Solution Preview


In order to answer your questions I would like to explain first what is meant by denaturation:

Denaturation as the name indicates is LOSING THE NATURE. After denaturation the protein is no longer a protein since it involves the disruption and destruction of both the secondary and tertiary structures.Since the denaturation reactions are not so strong the primary structure i.e the sequence of amino acids remains intact.The main points of effect are the alpha helix and the beta sheets which are uncoiled into a random shape. The bonds in the secondary and tertiary structure are mostly weak (H-bonds) and so are easily disrupted. In tertiary structure there are 4 types of interactions:
2.Salt bridges
3.Disulfide bonds
4. Non polar ...

Solution Summary

The expert provides a clear explanation as to what denaturation is to preface the rest of the answers. The solution provides answers to 5 specific questions regarding denaturation of albumin and of proteins.